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Case Studies

Are you ready for retirement?

Carol, School Teacher

Retirement takes planning. Yes, financial planning is essential to have the kind of retirement you want and you also have to be ready for the time and change of pace that life after work offers. Because while having all day, every day to yourself can sound idyllic while you’re busy at work, the reality can be quite different if you haven’t prepared for it.

Carol, a primary school teacher, took over twenty years and two attempts to be really ready for her retirement.

Watch her story here:

Prepare for your best financial future – wherever you are in life. Watch and read about some great financial solutions here –

Hindsight is 20/20, and this is no more evident than in our money regrets and the ways we wish we’d planned differently when young

Receiving investment advice from your future self isn’t yet a possibility (fingers crossed for the invention of that magic, Back To The Future moment any day now), but it is possible to learn from those who have been in your shoes before. We spoke to three professionals to find out what they’d tell their 20-something selves about money.

Susan, 43, Social Worker

“Take an interest in your super!”

“The main thing I wish I could tell my 20-year-old self is to take an interest in my super,” Susan says. “I know that young people hear this time and time again, but it really is never too soon. After taking some time off from my career to spend time at home with my children, I was out of the workforce for around five years, and worked part-time for a while after that. As a result, my super was kind of all over the place. Going through a divorce made me sit up and take notice of my super, and really get serious about making it work for me. I have it sorted now, but I would definitely be in a much better position if I’d just learned more about prioritizing my savings for the future.”

Tony, 49, Account Manager

“Rent where you can afford, buy where you want to live.”

“I was never too interested in building my wealth until well into my 30s,” shares Tony. “Once I got serious about buying my own home, I realized just how much better off I would have been if I had made smarter choices, particularly about where I lived, when I was younger. I left home when I was 18 and moved straight into a trendy beachside suburb where rent (and everything else) was at a premium. As a result when I bought my first home, the only place I could afford to buy was on the outskirts of the city, away from the beach. In hindsight, I wish I could tell my younger self to suck it up for a few years and live in the sticks for a while so that when the time came to buy my own place I’d have enough saved to buy where I wanted to live, instead of where I could afford. Really, it’s about making sacrifices in the short- term to save for what you want in the future instead of living beyond your means.”

5 tips in negotiating a pay rise

Article from

The win/win

Negotiation is a process where two or more parties with different needs and goals discuss an issue to find a mutually acceptable solution.  Which is a formal way of saying, negotiation can get a result where (hopefully) everyone leaves happy.

A good negotiator can make someone think they’re getting the better end of the bargain while managing to achieve exactly what they want for themselves from the situation.

Having the skills to talk your way in or out of situations is one that will come in handy time and time again – especially when it comes to obtaining a pay rise or new work opportunity.

5 tips to help you talk your way to the top

1. Be prepared

One of the best tools in any negotiator’s kit is walking into a situation prepared. According to an article on the subject by Rob Walker on

“What the experts make of it varies a bit, but a point that pretty much everyone makes is that the outcome of most negotiations has less to do with how vehemently you argue in the moment than it does with how well you prepared beforehand. You are advised, everywhere, to research the issue extensively. How much are other vendors selling that brass dish for? What do your competitors charge for the service you’re offering? How much does a person with your experience usually get paid?

“What you’re looking for is a standard, and your real goal, of course, is to find the standard that suggests the best deal for you.”

When asking for a pay rise, this means walking into a meeting having done your research. Do the maths, have the statistics, and even a full business case on hand to back you up when you assert your value to the company.

2. Aim high

Negotiation can be likened to bartering, but in reverse. You start with a low-ball offer when bartering in a market for a souvenir, however, when negotiating a pay rise you want to ask for a figure higher than you’re actually expecting. This way, when your boss offers you a lower figure, you’ll be able to accept it without conceding the money you originally hoped for.

“Some research has indicated that the result of a negotiation is often closer to what the first mover proposed than to the number the other party had in mind,” Mike Hofman says in 5 things never to say while negotiating. “The first number uttered in a negotiation (so long as it is not ridiculous) has the effect of anchoring the conversation.”

3. Be creative

A good negotiator knows that there’s far more to a deal than figures. The ability to be creative with what you ask for can see you achieving a far more lucrative deal than if you’d only spoken in terms of money. Asking for stock options, more holidays, flexible working hours or more training can make it easier for your boss to agree while also adding to the overall value of your salary package.

According to Business Insider, when negotiating pay rises:

“It’s often that politics or organisational structure that comes in the way too. It could be that your boss values your contribution, but is unable to budge on salary due to budget limits, arbitrary standardisation etc. Then, the next question you’ve to ask is: “Are there any other compensation elements that we can discuss?”

4. Be reasonable

There are hard-nosed business people who go in to meetings making demands and refusing to budge. They might get a few wins in the short term, but truly skilled negotiators manage to come to agreements that are mutually beneficial – and therefore more sustainable. Consider all angles when you’re meeting with your boss about a pay increase – using understanding and empathy will get you a long way, and eventually, will see you rewarded for your efforts.